We are not long from return of Juan Martin Del Potro. DelPo will play in his first pro tennis match since January 24 when he takes on Olivier Rochus in Bangkok at about 8am Eastern time here in the U.S.
The 22-year-old Argentine underwent right wrist surgery on May 4 and has played just one event all year. And while sidelined, Delpo’s ranking has slipped from No. 4 at the Australia down to No. 36, and the big guy still has almost a 1,000 points to defend this fall (he was a finalist in London and QF in Paris).
Delpo and Rochus have never played. And even though he’s outsized by a foot, Rochus can more than hold his own against the bigger players. So I wouldn’t be surprised to see Olivier get a win here.
Top seed Rafael Nadal earned a bye and will play his first match – a second rounder – on Thursday night against a qualifier, either Bemelmens or Nielsen. Nadal and Delpo could clash on Friday night if each reaches the quarterfinal stage.
Big news from the Premier WTA event in Tokyo yesterday. Former No. 1 Maria Sharapova was absolutely stunned by Kimiko Date-Krumm 7-5, 3-6, 6-3 in the first round. Krumm, who was on the pro tour back in 1989 when Sharapova was just a 2 year old, turns 40 on Tuesday. What a birthday present!
“I’m very happy to win this match, especially just a day before my birthday,” the victorious Date-Krumm said. “The crowd really helped me. When I play at home I sometimes feel big pressure, but today I was able to control myself.”
Said the 23-year-old Sharapova, “Kimiko was a new opponent for me, so I had to try and figure her out. She stays low and likes the ball hit hard at her, and then she steps in and changes direction. She did that really well. I had my ups and downs but couldn’t take control when I was up.”
It’s a great win for Date but the loss by Maria, who I thought was 100% back, is little alarming.
By the way, how old is Steffi these days? Just saying.
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